Ran a small private test tonight. Things mostly ran pretty smoothly, and the bugs that did turn up proved to be pretty easy to squash, so things should be in excellent condition for the public test scheduled Saturday night (Yay!)
Whoops. Kinda neglected the webpage for a few days again--I do that quite often. Don't worry, this time it's not because I found a new distraction (although admittedly I have been playing Miner League several times more than could possibly be healthy), I've actually been doing some good work with Delve!. Aside from the usual boring cleaning-up-messy-old-code bit, most of the scoring system is in place, and I'm now working on implementing artifacts. Artifacts will be, basically, the extent of actual character building in Delve!, which will be very slight. Basically, every time you open a chest there's a small chance that in place of its normal object you'll find a random artifact. The artifacts themselves will all be magic objects with spell-like effects and limited uses, so while a player who does a lot of playing and collects a lot of artifacts will have more power at his disposal than a weaker player, he won't be able to flex that power to its fullest extent without quickly using it up. Artifacts will be the only objects in your inventory that you can save between games (bombs, keys, and spells all go poof), and will save across characters (since characters are so very temporary anyways). There are a few other minor features I'm working on which should make the game flow a bit more smoothly, as well. Haven't started on any new adventuring scenarios, but don't worry--that comes soon.
Note that the Info page is undergoing a small redesign, so it might not work from time to time. Nothing major, it just wasn't living up to its name very well. Watch for Delve! tomorrow night! I haven't confirmed the time yet, but barring catastrophe you should see it up.
Ran a small private (well, semi-private) test for several hours tonight, and had a blast. A few rather nasty bugs did crop up, some of which probably should have been noticed before but weren't--oh well. Other than those, the game ran very smoothly and things seem to be working very nicely. Did figure out how to distribute and install the resource files, which should make things run a little better by alleviating downloads (and boy, do the downloads need alleviating!) Still working on arranging a public game later this week, although I'm thinking of putting in a hardcoded server limit of 8 players at a time, although even that's a bit crowded--the game's designed to accomodate 6.
Geocities has a nasty habit of not actually saving my news updates, which is probably OK seeing as basically no one comes here. Making excellent progress now, although still waiting on the next version or so of BYOND to fix a nasty graphics bug. The AI code is much smoother now, and should be able to handle things marginally better than the clunky old stuff. Unfortunately, I think it might actually be worse when it comes to conflicting monster alliances, but that remains to be seen. Basically done with the color selection, although I'm still leery of a few color choices--luckily, tweaking is pretty easy. Still gotta finish level 10, which involves drawing some new graphics, so that's gonna take some time (boo!). However, when it comes to New Stuff, I've got a couple nifty announcements. The first is that I've finally decided on a course of action for how to work character saving, although that's still going to be quite a ways off, so don't worry about it for now. Of more pressing niftiness is my decision to add in a toggleable status display. Ever get tired of looking at those ugly character portraits (which, by the way, I've done some touching-up to)? I'm working on putting in a way (or three) to cycle through a couple different options as to what gets displayed in that space, such as a quick readout for the party's bombs/keys or spells by player. BYOND doesn't support multiple icons on the same line in a stat panel, so unfortunately I can't make a status bar proper, but you should find it reasonably convenient to check whatever you need to, as you need to check it. Oh, and speaking of convenience, I fixed the (rather boneheaded) error with my macro script, so the / and * keys should now work properly.
Updated the Info page with the new classes, just to prove that I'm actually making progress on Delve! (assuming you consider really ugly looking portraits "progress"). Someday I'm going to do a redesign with more content, but that looks to be a ways off.
Progress continues to be slow. I'm hoping that I can stall for another month and a half until I'm out at college, then I should hopefully have access to some better hosting setups. At least I'm working on stuff again now.
Hmm. Other hobbies keep interceding, so my progress has been pretty slow. I'm about two-thirds done with the icons for the new characters and monsters, and I've done the mapwork for level 9. Haven't really done much else.
Yay, I'm back. Whoooo.
Progress continues on Delve!. Dunno when I'll actually get it done, or build up enough stomach to try another 56k lag-tastic hosting session. I'm thinking next Friday is a nice realistic deadline, and with any luck a lot of people will be off traveling or doing some other silly such thing and I won't have to worry about traffic. Not that I'd have to worry about traffic anyways. Just the same, I think I'm going to make the next testing session by appointment. Nothing big or fancy or exclusive, just tell me ahead of time and I'll let you know where to join. But that's not for a while.
OK, looks like it's gonna be a while before I run any more playtests. I'm going to be out of town a couple days next week, so that'll slow things a little, but mostly it's because the list of things I want to add in just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I figure I might as well close the class polls down, seeing as they're not getting any use anyways (Soldier, Ranger, and Ninja are of course going in, and for the 4th I'm arbitrarily going to say Templar because spellcasters are underrepresented). Here's a list of what's confirmed for the next version of Delve!:
-The full complement of 10 classes. -Introduction, conclusion, and between-level story text. -Lots of optimizations in the AI code (right now this is responsible for about 98% of the processing going on, from what I can tell). -The last four levels of the "demo" dungeon, featuring several new enemies and items. -Character color selection (I'll likely tweak character palletes for this, too). -An external download for resource files (FINALLY)!
I'd also like to announce at this time that I'm now looking for additional project members, especially map designers but also graphic and sound artists and possibly coders (but that's a bit less likely). Anyone who might be interested in working on Delve! should contact me at email@example.com.
Playtesting has proven to be rockier than expected. Maybe middle to late night Tuesdays simply isn't a good time to run playtests, but basically nothing got done. Normally I'm OK with not getting anything done; it's what I usually do best. But it bugs me when I put some time and effort into getting something done and fail. My lack of a decent hosting setup is starting to become downright depressing. Levels 7-9 are progressing nicely. Unfortunately, I'm still not quite sure on a few finishing touches to the engine.
OK, so I lied. I've been making too many changes lately--time to get my testing boots on. Only up to level 6 is accessible but... eh.
Well, development continues at a good pace, for once. I've made incredible progress in tidying up the engine, and I'm pleased to say that the code's finally starting to look all spic and span.
Hah! That's a lie. I've barely touched any of the underlying engine code. What I have done probably has made it worse. I've just been having too much fun adding Neat Stuff. There probably won't be any playtests for the next few days, but don't despair; presumably I will get around to fixing up some of the older code, which should make things run a little smoother, but more importantly I'm hoping to build up to level 8 before I run another online test. That's 60% more game to play! I'm also planning on revamping some of the older levels to make use of new features, but they should remain pretty much the same.